Tuesday, October 25, 2022

New Tentative Agreement brings hope for some resolution to Paramedic staffing issues

An Ambulance on Standby at the Prince Rupert Ambulance
Station on Summit Avenue

Efforts to try to improve on the access to ambulance service in the province have seen some progress this week, with the Province, BC Emergency Health Services and the Ambulance Paramedics Union all noting of some success at the negotiating table related some new interim staffing measures.

An announcement from Monday noted of an immediate increases of 2 dollars per hour per pay, increased pay for overtime work and other initiatives to try to reduce recent shortages of ambulance staff that have left communities underserved or using extra-ordinary methods to ensure transport of patients to hospital for medical care.

Health Minister Adrian Dix relayed word of the tentative agreement through Social Media on Monday afternoon.

The details to the Tentative Agreement look as follows:

click above to enlarge

The agreement is designed to try to reduce some of the pressures found in rural and remote communities which have suffered from ambulance staffing shortages for much of this year, a situation noted in Prince Rupert over the summer.

As we outlined at the time, such was the pressure on the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue service at the time, that the City reduced the service's participation in service calls to only those of Critical Care or Purple Code as part of the call management protocol.

The announcement of the tentative agreement cam on the same day as BC Emergency Health Services Released a report on the challenges of the last year towards their Service Delivery expectations.

The report which you can explore here, highlights the range of events from the Heat Dome to floods and impact of COVID on both the ability to serve the public as well as on the staffing levels, in effect a double whammy of circumstances that continues to bring an impact into the fall.

The new measures announced on Monday, make for some of the work done to try to address those challenges and rebuild some of the trust that may have waned over the last year as high profile shortages made for daily news items.

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders across the Northwest can be explored here.

Items of interest from the Legislature can be reviewed from our archive page.

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